Trulance (plecanatide) is a brand-name prescription medication. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for use in adults with:
Here are some fast facts about Trulance:
- Active ingredient: plecanatide
- Drug class: guanylate cyclase-C agonist
- Drug form: oral tablet
- FDA approval year: 2017
If Trulance works for you, your doctor will likely recommend that you take it long term.
As with other drugs, Trulance can cause side effects. Read on to learn about potential common, mild, and serious side effects. For a general overview of Trulance, including details about its uses, see this article.
Trulance can cause certain side effects, some of which are more common than others. These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Mild side effects can occur with Trulance use. This list doesn’t include all possible mild side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Trulance’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects that have been reported with Trulance include:
- tenderness in your abdomen
- infection, such as the common cold or urinary tract infection (UTI)*
- mild allergic reaction*
These side effects may be temporary, lasting a few days to weeks. However, if the side effects last longer than that, bother you, or become severe, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Note: After the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a drug, it tracks and reviews side effects of the medication. If you develop a side effect while taking Trulance and want to tell the FDA about it, visit MedWatch.
* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.
Most side effects of Trulance are mild. However, it’s possible to develop serious side effects from this medication. The list below may not include all possible serious side effects of the drug. For more information, you can refer to Trulance’s prescribing information.
If you develop serious side effects while taking Trulance, call your doctor right away. If the side effects seem life threatening or you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Serious side effects that have been reported and their symptoms include:
- Increased liver enzyme levels in the blood, which may indicate liver damage. Symptoms can include:
- abdominal pain
- nausea or vomiting
- Severe diarrhea.*
- Severe allergic reaction.*†
* For more information about this side effect, see “Side effect specifics” below.
† An allergic reaction is possible after using Trulance. However, it’s not clear whether this side effect occurred in clinical trials.
Trulance may cause several side effects. Here are some frequently asked questions about the drug’s side effects and their answers.
Does Trulance cause weight gain or weight loss?
No, Trulance should not cause changes in your body weight, such as weight gain or weight loss. These were not side effects that people taking Trulance reported in clinical trials.
However, constipation may cause bloating. So, if Trulance works to treat your constipation, you may notice some weight loss as your constipation eases.
If you notice changes in your body weight during your Trulance treatment, talk with your doctor. They can help determine the cause of your weight change and the best ways to manage it.
Can Trulance start to work and cause side effects right away?
Before starting treatment with this medication, you may wonder how long it takes for Trulance to work. Trulance starts working to treat your constipation as soon as you take your first dose. It’s also possible for side effects to occur soon after you take your first dose.
In clinical trials of Trulance, people’s constipation eased in as quickly as 1 week after starting treatment.
If you have questions about how quickly it takes Trulance to work, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They’ll help you determine what to expect from this medication.
Do Trulance’s side effects go away? How long does the drug stay in your system?
Yes, if you experience side effects from Trulance treatment, they’ll likely go away. You may notice that side effects, such as diarrhea, improve over time. This is because your body will typically get used to the drug. If you’re experiencing side effects that aren’t going away or improving during your treatment, talk with your doctor.
It isn’t known how long Trulance stays in your system. The drug isn’t absorbed well into your body. The drug works mostly in your digestive system to treat constipation.
If you have questions about any side effects that you’re experiencing or what to expect from Trulance treatment, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Learn more about some of the side effects that Trulance may cause. To find out how often side effects occurred in clinical trials, see the prescribing information for Trulance.
Some people may experience diarrhea during their treatment with Trulance. In fact, diarrhea was the most common side effect that people taking this drug reported. In most cases, diarrhea began within the first 4 weeks of starting treatment.
Sometimes, diarrhea from Trulance treatment can be severe. However, this was not a commonly reported side effect in clinical trials of the drug. Severe diarrhea occurred within the first 3 days of starting Trulance treatment.
It’s possible for diarrhea to lead to dehydration, which can be serious.* You may be dehydrated if you feel more thirsty than usual, have dark yellow urine, or have a very dry mouth or lips.
What you can do
If you develop diarrhea during your treatment with Trulance, talk with your doctor. They can help determine the severity of your diarrhea based on how often you’re using the bathroom. They can also help determine if you’re dehydrated.
If you develop severe diarrhea or dehydration during your treatment with Trulance, your doctor will likely recommend pausing your treatment until your diarrhea eases.
Your doctor will also recommend that you drink fluids or eat hydrating foods. In some cases, they may recommend drinking sports drinks that contain electrolytes. In more serious cases, they may recommend you get IV fluids in a doctor’s office or hospital.
* Trulance has a
It’s possible to develop an infection during Trulance treatment. Infections may include sinus infection, upper respiratory infection (such as the common cold), or urinary tract infection (UTI). Infection wasn’t commonly reported in clinical trials.
Symptoms can include:
- a runny or stuffy nose
- burning when urinating
What you can do
Be sure to watch for symptoms of infection during your treatment with Trulance. If you develop symptoms of an infection while you’re taking Trulance, talk with your doctor. In some cases, they may prescribe an antibiotic to treat your infection.
As with most drugs, Trulance can cause an allergic reaction in some people. It’s not clear whether this side effect occurred in clinical trials. However, mild allergic reaction has been reported since Trulance was approved for use.
Symptoms can be mild or serious and can include:
- skin rash
- swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat, which can make it hard to breathe
What you can do
For mild symptoms of an allergic reaction, call your doctor right away. They may recommend ways to ease your symptoms and determine whether you should keep taking Trulance. However, if your symptoms are serious and you think you’re having a medical emergency, immediately call 911 or your local emergency number.
Be sure to tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have before starting treatment with Trulance. Your doctor can help determine if it’s safe for you to take Trulance.
Boxed warning: Risk of serious dehydration in children
Trulance has a
Trulance is only approved for use in adults with chronic idiopathic constipation or irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. The drug is not approved for use in children. This is because of the increased risk of severe dehydration occurring in children. It’s also not known if Trulance is safe or effective for children to take.
In animal studies, Trulance increased the amount of fluid in the digestive system, leading to dehydration. In some cases, dehydration was fatal. However, keep in mind that animal studies do not always indicate what may happen in humans.
Due to these possible risks, children under 6 years old should not use Trulance. Be sure to keep Trulance out of reach of children this age. In addition, doctors typically won’t prescribe Trulance to children ages 6 and up.
If your child has constipation, talk with their doctor about the best treatment option for them.
Be sure to talk with your doctor about your health history before you take Trulance. This drug may not be the right treatment for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors that affect your health. These are considered drug-condition or drug-factor interactions. The conditions and factors to consider include:
Intestinal blockage. You should not take Trulance if you have an intestinal blockage or bowel obstruction. In this case, your doctor won’t typically recommend Trulance. Instead, they will recommend treating your intestinal blockage.
Allergic reaction. If you’ve had an allergic reaction to Trulance or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe the drug. Ask your doctor what other medications may be better options for you.
Alcohol with Trulance
However, it’s possible for alcohol to cause constipation. Since Trulance is taken to treat constipation, drinking alcohol may worsen this condition.
In addition, it’s possible for alcohol to also cause diarrhea. Since Trulance can also cause diarrhea, drinking alcohol may worsen this side effect.
Before you start treatment with Trulance, talk with your doctor to see how much, if any, alcohol is safe for you.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding while taking Trulance
It’s not known if it’s safe to take Trulance during pregnancy.
At this time, there isn’t enough information to determine if Trulance may cause problems during pregnancy, such as congenital anomalies (commonly known as birth defects). However, Trulance isn’t absorbed well into your body. So it’s not likely that a developing fetus would be exposed to the drug.
Animal studies have not shown an increased risk of congenital anomalies or other problems when an animal is given the drug during pregnancy. However, animal studies do not always indicate what may happen in humans.
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking Trulance.
It may be safe to breastfeed your child while you’re taking Trulance. Studies show that Trulance does not pass into the breast milk of people taking the drug. If you would like to breastfeed while you’re taking Trulance, talk with your doctor to see if it’s safe for you and your child.
You may experience side effects from taking Trulance. However, side effects from this medication are usually mild.
If you’d like to learn more about Trulance, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can help answer any questions you have about side effects from taking the drug.
In addition to talking with your doctor, you may wish to do some research on your own. These articles might help:
- More information about Trulance. For details about other aspects of Trulance, refer to this article.
- Drug comparison. To learn how Trulance compares with Linzess, read this article.
- Dosage. For information about the dosage of Trulance, see this article.
- A look at irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For details about this condition, see our IBS hub and list of IBS articles.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.